Cultivation of common bean intercropped with maize in the long rainy season and rotating of these intercrops with the maize cultivated in the short rainy seasons improved food security on smallholder farms.

Overview

Intensification of the common bean through intercropping with maize in the long rainy season and rotating of these intercrops with the maize cultivated in the short rainy seasons improved food security on smallholder farms. There are no rotational experiments where intercrops of common bean (improved and/or local variety) with maize have been cultivated during long rainy and rotated with the maize cultivated in the short rainy seasons.

Summary

We define the importance of common bean and maize cultivation on smallholder farms where resource endowment is challenging. Food security is a big problem for smallholder farmers and maize and common bean are potentially the grain crops useful for food and generation of funds. This, therefore, brought a need for the conducting of this experiment to find out the sustainable system of crop production.

Author Comments

Dr. Eliakira Kisetu, PhD
Dr. Eliakira Kisetu, PhD
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Lecturer
Soil and Plant Sciences
Morogoro, Morogoro Municipality | Tanzania, United Republic of
This is an important publication at all levels of readers. The application and adoption of the techniques addressed in the manuscript are easy.Dr. Eliakira Kisetu, PhD

Intensification of common bean and maize production through rotations to improve food security for smallholder farmers

Journal of Agriculture and Food Research

J Agric Food Res. 2020 April 2; 100040

A field experiment was conducted to understand whether non-formalized monocultures of maize could be

substituted by the rotations with common bean on smallholder farms. This study was installed in the northern

highlands of Tanzania along the slopes of the highest African peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro with the predominance of

smallholder farmers. Cropping seasons (S), cropping systems (C), bean varieties (V), and their interactions were

evaluated. Data collected were plant height, ground coverage, total biomass, number of pods per bean and seeds

per pod, 100-seed weight, and grain yield. Results indicated that bean in long rainy seasons produced significantly

larger grain yields as an effect of S (3.3 t ha1) in 2015, C (3.4 t ha1) in intercrop, V (2.7 t ha1) in local bean,

S C (4.4 t ha1) in 2015 in intercrop, S V (3.4 t ha1) in improved bean in 2015, C V (4.6 t ha1) in intercropped

local bean, and S C V (5.0 t ha1) in intercropped local bean in 2017. In a short rainy season,

significantly larger bean grain yield (1.8 t ha1) was recorded as an effect of C when sown subsquent to maize. The

effects of V and/or C V were not significant on bean grain yield during short rainy season. Maize in long rainy

seasons produced significantly larger grain yields as an effect of C (2.9 t ha1) but not for S and S C in rotation

with the local bean. In short rainy seasons, significantly larger maize grain yield was produced in 2015

(2.6 t ha1) but the effects of C and S C were not significant in 2015 and 2016. This study concluded that inclusion

of intercrops (of maize and common bean) as part of a rotation with one of these crops significantly

improved grain yields and hence provided promising grounds of the options for sustainable food production on

smallholder farms.

April 2020
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